Dating bans are common across the K-Pop industry, with agencies like JYP Entertainment and Pledis Entertainment prohibiting their artists from entering into relationships for several years. Some stars, such as HyunA, have even been dropped from their company because they were caught in relationships. However, even companies that don’t ban dating aren’t always ideal—as former KARA member Han Seungyeon revealed in YouTube‘s new documentary series, K-Pop Evolution.
Fellow member Goo Hara once revealed that DSP Media never imposed a dating ban on the KARA members. Instead, she explained that they abstained from dating of their own volition because of busy schedules.
Recalling her experiences on K-Pop Evolution, Han Seungyeon confirmed that dating “wasn’t really banned” for any of the members. Instead, she explained, DSP Media simply wanted the members to tell staff if they were dating. However, while the arrangement may sound like a dream come true for loved-up stars, it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Han Seungyeon revealed that when the members did tell the staff about their relationships as they’d been instructed to do, the staff “stressed out“—so much so that they couldn’t go on dates like regular people.
Over the course of their career as a group, the KARA members had their fair share of dating rumors—and confirmations. Shortly after it was divulged that Goo Hara was dating BEAST‘s Junhyung, DSP Media confirmed the news outright. However, judging by Han Seungyeon’s sentiments, it seems the agency was worried about the members getting caught and having their images tarnished.
In fact, Han Seungyeon went on to say that when she was in a relationship, all she did was “sit in a car all day” with her partner. While Han Seungyeon faced dating rumors while part of KARA, her cautiousness meant nothing was ever confirmed. Ultimately, however, it seems that freedom to date under DSP Media didn’t really give her freedom at all.